07 January 2012

Views of Cheverny

One of the routes we "borrow" (que nous empruntons — that's French) when we drive from Saint-Aignan up to Chambord takes us up through Saint-Romain (a wine village) and Contres (a farming town), past the Château de Cheverny, and finally through the winding streets of Bracieux (a pretty town with an old market hall) into the vast wooded park that surrounds the Château de Chambord.

Le Château de Cheverny, where the long-time owners still live

At Cheverny, for some reason, there's a big opaque fence that blocks the view of the château from the road. When you're up close, you can see anything, unlike at Chambord where you can get clear views of the building from the roads all around it. Maybe it's because the Château de Chambord is owned by the French state, while the Château de Cheverny is privately owned (and occupied, at least in part).

The main street through the village of Cheverny

Yesterday, Walt was driving so I could have a look around with my sightseeing eyes — and camera. I noticed that I could see more of the Château de Cheverny from farther back on the road, because I could sort of see over the fence. I grabbed my camera and snapped the picture up above, using a long zoom. The sunlight was pretty, and was a real treat for a change.

As you can see, there aren't many people out on the streets this time of year. The Château de Cheverny was built between 1604 and 1634 — a hundred years later than Chambord. The Cadogan guide describes it as "the most refined Loire château of the lot, a lesson in French architectural and aristocratic good taste." During the German occupation of France in the 1940s, Leonardo's Mona Lisa was hidden at Cheverny for safe storage.


  1. Architecturally it is more unified than most chateau, being built in more or less a single stage to an almost single vision. The interior is one of the few original schemes surviving more or less complete in a Loire chateau.

  2. Is it "Les Trois Marchands" in the middle of the second photo?

  3. No, CHM, Les Trois Marchands is a little farther up the road in Cour-Cheverny.

    Susan, I agree about the beauty and unity of Cheverny, exterior and interior. I think it has survived intact because the same family has owned it since the early 1600s.

  4. didn't know that about the mona lisa....interesting

  5. It's certainly a beautiful place. We last visited about 10 years ago....time to go again I think.

  6. What I remember about Cheverny - The hounds being fed a feature. The Tin Tin exhibition, Cheverny being the inspiration of Marlinspike Hall.

  7. Reading Susan's comment makes me think of Gormenghast [Chambord}... "OK.. Just let's add another towerette here and another there..." and then there's the posh chimneys.
    Chevernay looks much nicer.

  8. I think you're planning to buy Chambord and then have us all over to visit. You're bringing Walt's galette as a bribe for the agent.

    I remember a fine day with you at Cheverny. Sue is right, the dogs and their 70 waving tails are a highlight of the visit.


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